We have established from the primary sources of Islam that through the appropriation and recasting of our Biblical narrative in all of its elements, vocabulary and terminology, into the Qur’an itself, there has been a usurpation of the authentic Biblical narrative which is historically accurate, and proven by the fulfilment of its prophecies as well as substantiated by archaeology and related disciplines.
The Islamic counter narrative (with its various threads) has been cleverly woven together, by keeping some apparent similarities in the names and stories of the Biblical characters, thus giving the illusion that they are the same as the Biblical ones. Having done that, the Qur’an takes the bold step of declaring that “your God and our Allah are the same”. Built into that in the Qur’anic narrative is the unsubstantiated assertion that all previous “books” were earlier limited editions of the Qur’an, that their recipients were all Muslims, and that they already knew about Muhammad and paid allegiance to him by Allah’s command. The result is a narrative that replaces the Biblical narrative that points to Christ, to another pointing to Muhammad.
THE LOGICAL TWIST – THE SAME AND NOT THE SAME, AT THE SAME TIME!
Now let’s go deeper with the “sameness” façade, or illusion, because it is this protected aura as articulated in the Qur’an, “…our Allah and your Allah is one (the same)…”, which veils and protects the hidden identity of the true Allah from scrutiny.
Ironically, it is also this aura of “sameness” – when Qur’anic claims are not foundto be substantiated within the pages of the Bible – that necessitates and facilitates Islamic charges of “corruption” against the “People of the Book”, the Jews and the Christians. Having thus allegedly tampered with Allah’s words, they are declared guilty of blasphemy, and therefore justifiably deserving of Allah’s eternal wrath!
In the following two sections we provide the basis for this convoluted reasoning:
First, the roots of the “sameness” claims in the Qur’an.
Then, how this initial “sameness” claim at some point, inevitably necessitates the further Islamic claim of “Biblical corruption”.
Later on, in the section on Biblical corruption, we provide illustrations that are used by Islam in attempts to support and justify this logic.
You might want to skip if you are out of time…. this is a long read
Word of caution: What follows is an interpretation. It is by no means an authoritative assessment or explanation. Please don’t take offence, if it does not align with your understanding of the Bible. This explanation is far from perfect and is very much littered with pot holes. This is a long piece, so grab a cup o joe.
In previous post we looked at some common approaches to the problem of the conquest of Canaan, but we found that none of them is really satisfactory. What are we to say then? Is there any “solution”?
Many have wrestled with this problem and there isn’t really a solution that explains it all, but we can take a stab at it from different frameworks or points of view. There is something about this part of our Bible that is in the basket of things we don’t understand about God and his ways. You would think, “God, I wish you had found some other way to work out your plans.” There are days I wish this narrative were not in the Bible at all (usually after I’ve faced another barrage of questions about it), though I know it is wrong to wish that in relation to the Scriptures. God knew what he was doing – in the events themselves and in the record of them that he has given us. But it is still hard.
Nevertheless, there are a number of considerations that certainly help me cope with the destruction of the Canaanites and understand at least some things about it in the light of what the Bible as a whole says. I have to say immediately that the points I’m going to share with you are not really “solutions”. That is, they do not neatly remove the emotional and moral pain and revulsion generated by the conquest narratives. However, I do find these perspectives helpful for my own faith, and I pass them on in the hope they may help you too.
What can you do about all the violence in the Old Testament? That is the question, and we are right to struggle with it. If it is hard sometimes to understand God in the midst of the things that happen in our own day or in our own lives, it is just as hard to understand why God said, did, and commanded some of the things recorded in the Old Testament.
There are various ways in which people try to lessen the difficulty, but we will limit ourselves to just three. Some people are happy to leave the problem in the Old Testament itself and imagine that the New Testament gives us a very different and “right” approach. Some people like to think that it was all a matter of mistaken zeal and primitive understanding of God on the part of the Israelites, and we can thankfully discern their mistakes, leave all that behind, and follow more enlightened ways. And there are those who simply let their feet float off the surface of the text out of the real world and into the much less troublesome world of spiritual allegories and nice moral lessons. But none of these, can really solve the problem and only end up in partial or distorted understanding of the Bible as a whole.
“The God I don’t understand”, for many people, is easily identified. It’s the God of the Old Testament. Those who wish to deride the Christian faith in general find their sharpest ammunition ready made here. Richard Dawkins, for example, atheism’s most prolific televangelist, minces no words in his assessment of Yahweh, the God of the Old Testament.
The God of the Old Testament is arguably the most unpleasant character in all fiction: jealous and proud of it; a petty, unjust, unforgiving control-freak; a vindictive, bloodthirsty ethnic cleanser; a misogynistic, homophobic, racist, infanticidal, genocidal, filiacidal, pestilential, megalomaniacal, sadomasochistic, capriciously malevolent bully.